Turning data to insight

3 minutes

The next step in effectively managing construction productivity

Time and time again we hear about construction’s productivity challenge and how digitisation can help address the problem. Whilst no one solution can resolve the issue, there’s no doubt that technology plays a crucial role. Capturing data is only the first step in effectively managing your workforce and processes on site. The next step is harnessing that data by turning it into valuable insight.

Adoption of technology-enabled solutions is increasing, which is a positive sign, but too often data is a by-product of digitisation and its value is not fully utilised. There’s also the challenge of bringing together silos of data that have been collected across platforms for different reasons. The trick is channelling high volumes of data into a single source of meaningful insight that you can look at holistically and make it work hard for you. Ultimately, you want to simplify decision-making to maximise impact at site and group level, in order to make targeted choices in real time and not after a project has finished.

Technological advancement and a drive for continuous improvement means the tools are available now for the industry to grasp this opportunity with both hands. In order to fully utilise the potential of insight from data however, there are some key things to consider.

To start with, the data being collected needs to be accurate and reliable – if it isn’t, you can’t trust the insight it produces. Quality data is founded on robust, proven collection methods, tight algorithms and a best practice approach to maintaining information security.

Then it’s useful to work with systems that can ‘talk’ to each other through integration. This will mean you can start to establish a common data environment to engage with different streams of information in one place rather than trying to juggle multiple systems. This will make data analysis easier as you can ensure data synchronisation and harmonisation. The more data you have accessible on one platform means more powerful trend analysis and insight that can immediately impact business performance.

Setting out parameters for your data and what you want to achieve will help you focus and means you can measure deliverables efficiently. What might work well for one project might not be relevant for another – generating tailored insight will generate better results. For example, if you want to monitor subcontractor churn rates, establishing insight from data can clearly demonstrate operative turnover and its impact on productivity. From a health and safety perspective, it’s invaluable, as you can establish a live digital audit trail and alerts on critical operatives, training and qualifications on site.

Trusted insight will allow you to have visibility of real-time events on site.

This means you can act quickly, rectify issues, make efficiency savings and ensure quality and compliance as soon as possible. Analysis of live data and interpreting it ‘as it happens’ will improve workforce, project and supply chain management significantly. It makes sense.

The opportunities are endless and it’s with renewed positivity that as we enter a new decade, I wonder if this could be the industry’s time to transition from merely adopting technology that creates data to embracing it; only then will the true business value of insight be recognised and utilised.

For more information, you can watch our latest video on business insight

Watch our business insight video

Written by Mike Bryant, Commercial Director at Biosite Systems